Protecting a Woman’s Right to Choose

I was moved by this woman’s story. In a Christian school, she made the choice that she believed was right, to keep her baby. The school responded by stripping her from leadership positions and not allowing her to walk across the stage to receive her diploma.

What I, and many other progressives, fight for, is for woman like Madeline to have the right to choose. Whether it is to have the child, or to terminate the pregnancy, it is the choice of that woman, with the support of …her faith and loved ones. I was happy to see that her family was immediately forthcoming with support. While an unexpected teen pregnancy is scary, they knew that the right answer was to help support her, to make the best out of a bad situation.

I am appalled that the school decided to publicly shame this woman for her unplanned pregnancy, and then punish her for making her CHOICE. It’s all about CHOICE and what is best for her and her life. As a progressive, I would never disparage her for which decision she ultimately made, and I want to fight so our country helps her time of need.

There are some in our country who think the way to stop abortions is by shutting down clinics and restricting access. That is dead WRONG. The way you stem the tide of terminating unwanted pregnancies is by providing support to the woman in her time of need, and continue to provide support for the mother and child, so the baby can grow into a successful, happy adult. We need to show compassion in the face of desperation, so they can see that even though they’re in a time of shock, trying to figure out how to deal with the surprise of a lifetime, that there is hope. That society is there to help them. We also need to protect access to safe family planning facilities, so if a woman decides that this is the best option for her, she will have a safe place to go. There is a terrible quote in this article where Madeline apologizes to any women in the crowd, who may seek an abortion instead of facing the public ridicule that she endured by deciding to keep the baby. I’m ashamed that in 2017, we are still subjecting women to this treatment, when the father did not have to appear next to her throughout and endure the same.

We can do better. We must continue to fight for access to abortion services. We must continue to fight for prenatal and post partum care. We must continue to fight for free access to contraceptives for anyone who needs it. We must continue to fight for early childhood development, paid family leave, and affordable childcare so women have the CHOICE to go back to work.

This was a sad story, but I’m bolstered by the strength that Madeline showed to make her CHOICE, and stand by it.

We must fight to elect progressives. I’m running for Congress in the First Congressional District of Virginia to protect women like Madeline. To protect her right to choose, and to help her and her child when they will need it the most. Look here in Virginia to support other progressives running in our elections this year, and I hope I can have your support for my race in 2018.

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